Write What You Know? Five Ways Your Bio Is Doing You Wrong
How To Write a Good Comedy Bio
Nick Angelo works for StandUpTix, an integrated platform for Comedy Clubs to sell tickets, advertise their shows, engage customers and manage comedian schedules. So he's seen a lot of comedian bios. A LOT. Between industry folks looking you up and and Google's algorithms, a poor biography can be hurting your career in more ways than one. So take a look at these tips that will help maximize your visibility and bookability.
1. Size DOES Matter - A two sentence bio is no good. C’mon, you're a comedian, a wordsmith, someone who writes every day! You should be able to squeeze out 4 to 5 good sentences about your favorite topic - yourself! A paragraph is ideal, but don’t go too far the other way. If a booker or promoter asks for your bio, do NOT send your entire autobiography - spoiler alert - no one cares. Just 4-6 good sentences.
2. Don't Be Funny - This isn’t a bit. Let your jokes on stage show people your great sense of humor, not your bio. Include some facts and a little bit of your background if you want, but trust me, including what your “mom would say” and drawing attention to the fact that it's you who is indeed writing the bio has been done before… a lot! Trying to be "different" and "creative" will not make your bio different and creative, just annoying and chliche.
3. Roll Credits - Your accomplishments matter. Tell the people where they’ve seen you before. Where they’ve heard your material. I’m not saying lie... but here’s where you can get creative. Got a podcast on iTunes? There you go. As your career continues to grow, so will your credits, and if it doesn’t, well, “clubs and colleges” always has a nice ring to it.
4. Use standard formatting - Your bio does not need to POP! It's not a clickbait listicle, it's a multi-purpose introduction to you. There’s no reason to capitalize things that don’t typically get capitalized. Not sure when to capitalize or use quotes? GOOGLE IT! For instance, that last sentence would have had the same impact if I would have simply said, “Google It!” See?
5. Don’t be weird. Look, if your act involves smashing watermelons and being “awkward,” fine. But you shouldn’t have to use the Fibonacci scale to decipher your bio. Remember, clubs use this to help sell tickets. The more tickets they sell, the more likely you’ll make money, and just like that, you’re a successful comedian! So keep the description of yourself to a relatively normal sounding paragraph so the ticket buyers who do read it will, indeed, come see your produce-smashing, awkward jokes.